The unprecedented situation that we have experienced over the last few months has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives. As we all work to adapt to this new social and economic reality, it is vital we look forward and plot a course that helps us build a stable and secure future.

At FrontFundr we recognize that startups are one of the cornerstones of our economy, driving growth and innovation in nearly all sectors, and they will no doubt have a vital role to play in our path toward future recovery. Whilst initial measures put forward by the federal government helped to address short term difficulties, we feel that they do not go far enough to ensure long-term success for this key area of our economy. 

As such, last month we compiled our own list of suggested measures and proposals, specifically designed to help with the continued survival and success of Canada’s growth businesses. We did a public launch of our initiative to gather support from our FrontFundr community, industry professionals and the general public. Based on the response to this public launch we have now formalized our proposals into FrontFundr’s COVID Recovery Program. 

Canada’s economic future depends on its startups

The COVID Recovery Program is an action plan designed to help invigorate the private markets over the coming 12 - 18 month period. It contains three key elements.

1. A national crowdfunding startup exemption - We are requesting that Canada’s securities regulators implement a proposed National Crowdfunding Exemption earlier than originally anticipated. This exemption, along with other currently available capital raising tools, will play an important role in Canada’s COVID recovery as it concerns start-ups and SME. 

2. A federal and provincial startup and SME tax credit system - We are requesting federal and provincial government agencies implement a National Tax Credit Program geared toward providing tax relief for investors in Canadian start-ups and SME. 

3. A federal and provincial fund matching program - We are requesting federal and provincial government agencies implement a National Fund Matching Program geared toward providing additional support to start-ups and SMEs as they raise capital from Canadian investors. 

We’re asking that the government bodies included in our proposals consider an amount of $1B in new or currently available funds to fuel this initiative over a two-year period. 

We have already reached out to key stakeholders within both provincial and federal governments - including the Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), and the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) - to discuss our proposals. Our initial conversations have proved fruitful, and all parties recognize that action on this front would be useful. We are, however, well aware that any such measures will take a considerable amount of time to approve and implement. 

We will continue to work with the relevant governmental bodies to discuss our proposals, advocate their importance, and work to find the best way forward to help support Canada’s startups at this crucial time. We thank you for your ongoing support, and will continue to keep you updated and informed on this situation as it develops.